Poor System Performance – Is Anti-Virus Configuration an Afterthought?

You’ve spent the money on supplying your staff with what should be a very capable hardware platform for the jobs they need to perform.  Are you really getting what you pay for?

Installing Anti-Virus software is a necessity if you want to maintain data integrity, privacy, and system performance.  “System Performance,” you ask?  By the nature of the beast, Anti-Virus packages are heavy on system resources.  They continually scan each file accessed, every email received, and every process run.

Often overlooked is that all anti-virus packages require extra configuration steps in order to be optimized for the operating system and software packages being used.  In fact, for the base installation of Windows (from Windows 2000 right through to Windows Server 2008 R2) Microsoft recommends no less than 12 separate files and file types to be excluded from Anti-Virus scanning.  That number jumps up to 34 separate exclusion entries for Windows Domain controllers, and will increase depending on the roles your servers are performing (DNS, DHCP, IIS, etc.).

Click here for a detailed list of recommended exclusion practices for Microsoft Operating Systems.

Due to the I/O requirements for client/server applications and reporting tools that run on a Microsoft SQL backend, and the popularity of this architecture, the benefits of adding the proper SQL exclusions are worth mentioning here as well.  Click here for a list of recommended exclusions for Microsoft SQL server.

For System Administrators, all the “big names” in the Anti-Virus market have the ability to centrally manage the Anti-Virus policies that are rolled out to your workstations and servers.  In many cases you may already own the centralized management component, but not realized it was available:

For the end user, the exercise of adding these exclusions to your PC is a one-time effort, but the benefits will keep you happy with the performance of your new PC for a much longer period.